Obituaries

January 30th, 2014 § 0 comments

Every morning, while sipping cafe au lait, HG reads the daily obituaries in the New York Times. It is a habit that smacks of schadenfreude (defined as pleasure in the misfortunes of others). Yes, muses HG while reading of the demise of a distinguished individual: “With all of your honors and renown you are very dead. HG is very much alive.” There is also a sobering thought. As an octogenarian, HG may soon (hey, not too soon) be an obit subject. The star of a recent Times obit page was Martin S. Bergmann, 100, psychoanalyst. Bergmann played the philosopher in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. The photo illustrating the obit fascinated HG. There was Bergmann, looking glum, seated on a Persian rug clad psychoanalytic couch (obviously a copy of Freud’s lounge). Bergmann’s office, richly wood paneled and containing a big bookcase of reference volumes, had huge windows with spectacular view of Central Park, the Reservoir and the West Side (the twin towers of The Beresford on Central Park West clearly visible). Office had to be on a high floor of a Fifth Avenue building. Very super-prime, super- expensive real estate. So. In order to cover the nut, what was Bergmann charging his analysands? The obit raised another question. Bergmann was raised on an Israeli kibbutz. The kibbutz paid for Bergmann to come to American and study agriculture. Bergmann abandoned agriculture and never returned to Israel. Did he ever pay back the kibbutz? Yes, death raises many questions. HG’s response to death is Italian (HG paraphrases): “Life is short. Brutish. And, it ends in pain. So, in the meanwhile, let’s enjoy a good meal.” With ample wine, adds HG.

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